franceinfo: What is the stake of this reflection?
Me Didier Seban: In France, we don’t really have a criminal memory. That is to say that when a crime takes place and the case is closed, the prosecution and the courts do not remember it and are not able to give you the list of unsolved crimes. So, this is already the first topic. We have too many files, sometimes a hundred a year, which are no longer on the radar when they come out of the initial investigation. And secondly, our courts operate a bit like a pipe organ, that is to say that one judge is not going to speak to another judge. Business is not going to be paralleled. Yet this is how very often we manage to stop serial killers. We hope that these files will be collected in the hands of specialized judges who will be able to preserve the memory of these cold cases.
What are the major leads that you are putting on the table?
The main ideas are first to impose a list of unsolved crimes in each court. In addition, an Internet site is being created on which all cases of missing children and all unsolved crimes can be listed, to which the public could contact with a dedicated number. Third, it is the obligation to keep criminal seals in unsolved cases. In our proposals, there is also the creation of a body of specialized judges, the increase of the limitation period to 30 years for crimes of blood.
These proposals seem like common sense steps, but why has all this not been thought through before?
Because we have a justice which still functions with the methods of the XIXth century. We do not have a culture of collective work. Investigating judges work alone. This ultimately very administrative culture prevents these crimes from being solved. We hope that these proposals will be effectively translated into facts and that we will realize that serial killers, there are some in our country as in all countries of the world, and that we do not know how to stop them. Look at Nordahl Lelandais: we are talking about a man who admitted to two crimes. Well, there is a case that is open in Grenoble, another case that is open in Chambéry, but they will not be judged together. No one has put his career in perspective and we refrain from knowing if, beyond these two crimes that he has recognized, other facts could be attributed to him.
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